I have had a couple of long discussions before with my poker compatriots where we discussed whether or not it is even considerably beneficial for the average poker player to act aggressively verbally, to the point of bordering on offensive, during any given session.
There have been a handful of players, with poker pro Tony G as probably the best example, that have turned harassing opponents into a science, using their frustrations and stress against them by encouraging mental lapses and breakdowns. It’s a strategy that has proven successful, but is it morally sound?
My personal stance is that I have never really found a reason as to why I need to treat another person unfairly, regardless of whether we’re at the poker table or not. I believe that grinding another player down emotionally is a cheap tactic that can be avoided altogether, regardless of the potential financial gains.
In my mind, you should be able to extract the chips from their stack into your own using tried and true strategic techniques that do not require you to take aim at someone’s emotions.
On the flip side, there are those that believe that all is fair in love and war and poker. Players with this mentality view poker as a business and a job, and as such approach it with the same amount of ruthlessness that they might towards a competitor in their industry of choice.
Therefore, honestly there is some logic to that assessment, as if someone opened up a deli across the street from your deli, you’d probably do just about whatever it took to make sure that your doors don’t close at the end of the month. If you play poker for a living, affecting the emotional state of your opponents might be good for business, but that’s an issue you need to take up with your own conscience.